It was just another one of those crazy weeks in the Griffin Legal John I Dent Cup, with Vikings, Wests and Royals all claiming well earned victories.
Vikings v Queanbeyan
The Tuggeranong Vikings were hailed victors at Viking Park on Saturday afternoon in their Round 5 matchup against the Queanbeyan Whites, running away with a 50-29 bonus point win.
The winless Queanbeyan Whites actually started the match off perfectly, quickly running out to a 12-0 lead after only ten minutes. Scores opening up after a damaging busting inside centre run by Christino Manuolevao set up Keith Morgan to score in the corner.
Their second try of the day was an all round team effort performance. A successful lineout which was sacked quickly by the Vikings defence meant that the Whites had to quickly change their attack and elected with the pick and drive. Several phases later and some quality discipline placed them in prime position to score just next to the posts.
Young-gun Will Goddard was successful with the conversion on the second try but shorty after succumbed to an ankle injury and was taken off the field limping and in quite some pain.
The first 20 minutes of the match was completely dominated by the Whites. They held possession well and was all played in the Vikings territory.
Some ill-discipline from the Whites awarded the Vikings field position and opportunities to score points.
A strong scrum from Vikings in midfield placed them on the front foot, allowing Captain Isaac Thompson so throw the miracle cutout ball to Andrew Robinson who was out on the wing and found himself in clean air.
Not long after, Vikings were quick to add the double punch as they scored under the post and with a successful conversion meant that they had turned that 12-0 deficit into a 14-12 lead heading into the half time break.
As the second half got underway, it was as if a completely different Vikings team had just returned from the sheds. They were switched on straight from the get go and drew first blood.
Tries to Vunipola Fifita and Sam Thomas along with successful conversions from Thompson brought the Vikings lead out to 35-17.
Whites halfback and Brumby Matt Lucas rallied his troops, especially his forward pack during breaks in play who were finding it a difficult talk to control the scrum and hold on to possession in crucial phases of the game.
Scoring and converting a try of his own, Lucas showed the class player he is and filled in the playmaking role due to Goddard’s first half injury. A second try to Morgan closed the gap to the Vikings at 35-29.
The final 15 minutes was all Vikings however. They showed true composure and worked especially hard at the breakdown, winning turnovers and penalising the Whites with more points on the board.
Final tries to Levi Clark and a double by Fifita were enough for Tuggeranong to record their second win of the season as well as earning the bonus point which may prove crucial come end of the season. Queanbeyan however are still searching for their first win of the season and Round 6 is already upon us.
Words Rob Davison
Royals v Owls
Royals have remained undefeated through four rounds following their victory over the Uni-Norths Owls 33-25. It was an action-packed game that featured critical injuries, field changes, and a late revival.
The ever-consistent halfback Pedro Rolando showed his class throughout the match, he finished the match with a perfect kicking record and two tries, amassing 18 points. Another Royal to play an outstanding game was winger Seth Going. Celebrating his 50th cap for the club, Going was a presence on the edge of the field the whole game and was rewarded with a great try.
It was a slow start to the game, both forward packs were looking to assert dominance and enterprising rugby was at a premium. The first points came from the boot of Owls fullback Jordan Thompson who slotted two penalty goals in quick succession to put his team ahead.
Next to strike was Pedro Rolando scoring his first try of the game. The veteran halfback showed his vision as he lunged from the ruck to score. His conversion put the Royals ahead by a point.
The Owls responded with a try of their own. The electric winger Byron Hollingsworth-Dessent finished a skilful backline play in the corner to put the Owls back in the lead. The crafty Rolando
The initial butting heads of the game had finished, and the skill and finesse of each team was beginning to shine through. The half centurion Seth Going finished an excellent team try mid-way through the second half. Royals had made a break and were rushing towards the Owls line. Rolando floated a perfect pass over the final defender for going to collect and score.
The game took a strange turn with 15 minutes before the end of half. Owls winger Josh Reis sustained a dangerous head injury and required an ambulance. To not stop the flow of the game the referees decided to continue the match on the Royals second field.
The change in scenery was not be helpful for the men in blue. The Owls pounced on a lapse of concentration by Royals and following one of the tackles of the season by Phil Ferriera, the students were quickly inside the Royals red zone.
Jordan Thompson was mauled in for a try to bring the Owls back into contention at the halftime break.
As the second half began it was all one-way traffic as the Royals backline came out firing. Centre Jamie Bodman and then fullback Lincoln Smith scored excellent tries in the first 20 minutes of the second half. The chemistry of the Royals backs was evident as the crowd was treated to some beautiful support play and running rugby.
As the clock was ticking down the Owls gave themselves an opportunity to snatch a losing bonus point when reserve lock Angus Chapman crashed over the Royals line. They knew that the game was lost but were determined not to leave empty handed.
Royals snuffed out the Owls last chance when hooker Siuta Tai managed to rip the ball out of an Owls maul and end the game.
This weekend’s result means back to back losses for the Owls. They host Easts next week for their Ladies Day.
Royals remain undefeated and will meet the struggling Queanbeyan Whites next week at home.